Standing under a large, white tent pitched in the shadow of Furrion North American headquarters, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski spoke to about 100 participants and friends of the RV Women’s Alliance (RVWA). Walorski’s message to the audience of mostly woman was personal — “You as a woman, are uniquely suited to make a difference.”
To help make her point, Walorski recalled her foray into public service 14 years ago. While she never dreamed of entering politics, and “wasn’t much of a talker,” the events of 9/11 and her service as a missionary overseas drove her passion. “My mother still wonders what happened to her quiet, timid girl,” she noted.
Passion, emphasized Walorski, is “what pushes us to accomplish our goals and go beyond what we think we can do. In this area, women enjoy a unique advantage. We are individuals. We are wives. We are mothers. When you get in a room with a bunch of women and start sharing stores, you discover there is so much passion in each of us. As co-chair of the House RV Caucus, I know first-hand there are many, many passionate, powerful women in this industry.”
Another thing Walorski feels she has in common with RVWA members is that both the RV industry and Congress are male dominated. “I can relate,” she said. “Being in the House of Representatives as a Republican woman is the minority of minorities. Believe me, I know how you must feel.”
Walorski urged all in attendance to get involved and reach out to elected representatives and let your voice be heard, specifically in regards to USMCA, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is currently stalled in Congress. “Each of us can make a difference. Your calls, texts or emails count.”
Following Walorski’s address, the RVWA members broke into small discussion groups to share best practices and learn from one another. RVWA President Susan Carpenter said the participants include industry veterans, younger women just starting out, and all ages in between. “Our goal is to move the needle a bit. Encourage women. Support women. Empower women in the RV industry.”